Converting cooking measurements from mass to volume
November 10, 2006 6:21 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to make this (links to a YouTube anime clip including a recipe for making bread in a rice cooker). Unfortunately, all the measurements are listed in grams. How can I convert from grams to more conventional North American measurements?

I found some websites on converting measurements (here and here, and some others). These yielded conversions for most of the ingredients, but not all them (such as yeast).

The problem with measurements in mass as oppose to measurements in volume is that there is no direct relationship between mass and volume for all substances! So the amount in grams of a substance could take up a different volume depending on its density -- different brands of different products will have different densities and so a simple conversion could be wrong.

Baking being the exact science it is, I'd like to get my measurements as accurate as possible.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
posted by DrSkrud to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I can't watch the clip right now - can you post the recipe? For yeast, I can tell you that a standard package of yeast is 2 1/4 teaspoons, and the weight in grams (7?) is printed on it.
posted by pocams at 6:29 AM on November 10, 2006

Can't you just get hold of a set of scales and weigh your ingredients out, converting oz/fl.oz -> g/ml where necessary?

(I have this problem in reverse when trying to follow American recipes. How much is a cup? How big a cup should I use? All my mugs are wildly differing in size...)
posted by corvine at 6:47 AM on November 10, 2006

Response by poster: Sure ... in retrospect I should've posted the ingredients from the recipe in my original question

Bread Flour - 350g
Butter - 21g
Sugar - 21g
Milk - 35cc
Water - 180cc
Dry Yeast - 5g
Salt - 6.5g
posted by DrSkrud at 6:49 AM on November 10, 2006

Um, yeah. Either use Google to convert the weights, or get scales. Alton brown has one that he recommends.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:49 AM on November 10, 2006

For accuracy in dry ingredients, use mass or weight measure rather than volume. This is especially true of flour. To demonstrate this, sift some flour into a measuring cup, then pack it down. Same mass, same weight, different volume.

If you don't have a scale, that's another matter, and Peter Reinhardt's The Bread Baker's Apprentice admits that weighing small quantities is a pain. The conversion table in the book provides different volume measures for the same weights for three different flours. For what it's worth, he approximates 3.5 cups per 16 oz. of white bread flour.
posted by ardgedee at 6:50 AM on November 10, 2006

While obviously all you high-falutin' baking scientists will be suggesting cooking by weight instead of volume, the fact of the matter is that at least in the US doing so is exceedingly rare. Dealing with recipes by ingredient weight is pretty much never done.

Fortunately for the rest of us, there's an approximating converter tool. (Found by searching Google for "convert grams to tablespoons".) Of course, for the fluid volume calculations from cc to cups, all you need to do is ask Google to perform the conversion itself.
posted by majick at 7:08 AM on November 10, 2006

Best answer: Although from the look of it, their other converter tool is even more accurate if a bit more cumbersome as it's aware of the weight by volume of various ingredients.
posted by majick at 7:11 AM on November 10, 2006

Note to CORVINE. A cup is 8 ounces. Also there are 16 tablespoons in a cup.
posted by JayRwv at 7:12 AM on November 10, 2006

Thanks, JayRwv! *makes a note*
posted by corvine at 7:13 AM on November 10, 2006

350 g of bread flour = 12 1/3 ounces = 2 1/4 cups
21 g butter = .75 ounce = 1 1/2 tbsp
35cc of milk is a bit trickier. It is just over 1 ounce (1.18)
180cc of water is almost exactly 6 ounces
6.5g of salt is about 3/4 tsp

good luck!
posted by Lame_username at 7:20 AM on November 10, 2006

35cc of milk is a bit trickier. It is just over 1 ounce (1.18)

7 tsp.

corvine: a cup is 8 fluid ounces, not necessarily weight ounces. A fluid ounce is called that because it's the volume of an ounce of water (or most any other kitchen fluid except honey, at least for kitchen accuracy).

A cup is 250 ml. (not really, really it's 236.6, but that's accurate enough for most kitchen work).

Liter approx = quart.
2 pints in quart, so pint=500 ml.
2 cups in pint, so cup=250 ml.
4 quarts in gallon, so gallon=4 l.
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml.

also one fifth (of liquor) = 750ml.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:07 AM on November 10, 2006

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